Aside from the occassional jewelry splurge, buying great books about art is my favorite "treat". I was lucky enough a couple weeks ago to attend a figure drawing session where a fellow artist brought a book to show me by Henry Yan.
I ordered his book, "Henry Yan's Figure Drawing: Techniques and Tips" and just recieved it today.
It's fantastic. A huge collection of figure drawing, ranging from 5 minute studies to 4 hour portraits, complete with style tips, media, drawing techniques to name a few. I have already learned a few key points just from the light read-thru that I have completed. (My favorite tip so far ...concerning shadows...."Remember to use soft edges for form shadows and hard edges for cast shadows." Henry Yan, H.Y's.F.D.T.T., p.103) Even though I may have intuitively been doing that in some of my drawings, reading that assertion will help me to emphasize that aspect of my drawings in the future (or manipulate that technique to my own accord)
The book is heavy on illustration and direct and to the point when it comes to the descriptions and instruction - a very good balance, especially since looking at his work is a visual equivalent of many semesters of great figure drawing instruction.
look forward to pushing my techniques because I am inspired by his great work. I also inspired by some of the great poses in the book...I look forward to trying them with our models!